Published on May 10th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown
The Terrafugia TF-X: A 200 MPH Flying Plug-In Hybrid Car
The Terrafugia TF-X is a flying plug-in hybrid car that manages to eliminate one of the main impediments to flying cars; the ability to take off. So far, most flying cars need a long runway just to get in the air, but this new design allows vertical take off and landing scenarios. Is this the dawn of the flying car?
Most people don’t own runways. Not even 1% of the world’s population (probably less 1% of the top 1%, actually). There have been so many attempts at building flying cars, but no one has yet been able to overcome this obstacle.
The Terrafugia TF-X is a flying plug-in hybrid car that addresses the runway issue by taking off vertically using a pair of propellers that unfold and position themselves like helicopter rotors so they thrust downwards to push the vehicle straight up into the air, so you can literally fly in and out of your own little driveway. This system is similar to that deployed by the V-22 Osprey, a military insertion vehicle that can tilt its rotors in a similar fashion.
The Terrafugia TF-X should have a top speed of 200 MPH. It is propelled forward by a gas engine, and it takes off using electric motors, and it can be recharged by plugging it in. As for the propellers, they fold down so that the car isn’t the size of a truck all the time, without the blades inducing unnecessary drag while driving on the ground with other cars.
We don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, but this is the first real flying car design that we could see actually working. Of course it will probably still be too expensive for most of us plebeians to afford, but maybe one day our kids will be able to afford flying cars of their own.
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